NEWBURGH – More than 30 students from the Mount Saint Mary College Nurse Practitioner program were honored at the Fall 2023 semester white coat ceremony on Friday, December 8.
The graduates’ white coats were presented to them by their chosen family members, from spouses and children to parents and grandparents.
The ceremony reflected the students’ transition to the professional nurse practitioner role.
Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who provide high quality healthcare services. They can diagnose, treat, and prescribe across a wide range of health problems.
After a welcome speech by Rhonda D’Agostino, instructor of Nursing and Graduate Program Coordinator, and a blessing from Fr. Gregoire Fluet, Interim President of the Mount, students and their families enjoyed a congratulatory message from Elaine Suderio-Tirone, assistant professor of Nursing.
“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in your career,” said Suderio-Tirone. “[Now] you have to be passionate about whatever field you choose to specialize in…Continue to strive for excellence.”
Graduate Lydia Akite of Middletown, N.Y. – whose mother traveled to the ceremony from Uganda to present her daughter with the white coat – was selected to discuss the group’s progression through the rigorous Mount program.
“I want to thank God for this moment,” she said. “I’m filled with so much pride. This journey has been tough…it takes a lot of determination and hard work.”
After the graduates received their white coats, Najwa Alhejazien of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. was recognized for excellence in her studies with the Sr. Leona DeBoer Graduate Nursing Award.
Fr. Fluet closed out the ceremony with the Blessing of the Hands. As nurse practitioners, he noted, the graduates’ hands are their most important healing tool.